(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Origin of Human Races and the Antiquity of Man Deduced from the Theory of "Natural Selection""

STOP 



Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world byJSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 
purposes. 

Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.istor.org/participate-istor/individuals/early- 
journal-content . 



JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 
contact support@jstor.org. 



CiVUl JOUllN'AL or THK ANTHKOPOI.OOIOA?. SOOIKTV. 

The Oriym of Human Races and (he Antirjw'ty of Man deduced from 
the theory of " Nattiral Selection." By Alt red R. Wali-ack, 
Esq., F.Z.S. 

Among the most advanced students of man, there exists a wide 
difference of opinion on some of the most vital questions respecting 
his nature and origin. Anthropologists are now, indeed, pretty well 
agreed that man is not a recent introduction into the earth. All who 
have studied the question now admit tliat his antiquity is very great ; 
and that, though we have to some extent ascertained the minimum of 
time during which he must have existed, we have made no approxi- 
mation towards determining that far greater period during which he 
may have, and probably has, existed. We can with tolerable 
certainty affirm that man must have inhabited the earth a thousand 
centuries ago, but we cannot assert that he positively did not exist, 
or that there is any good evidence against his having existed, for a 
period of a hundred thousand centuries. We know positively that 
he was contemporaneous with many now extinct animals, and has 
survived changes of the earth's surface fifty or a hundred times 
greater than any that have occurred during the historical peiiod ; but 
we cannot place any definite limit to the nvimber of species he may have 
outlived, or to the amount of terrestrial change he may have witnessed. 
But while on this question of man's antiquity there is a very 
general agreement, — and all are waiting eagerly for fresh evidence to 
clear up those points whicli all admit to be full of doubt, — on other 
and not less obscure and difficult questions a considerable amount of 
dogmatism is exhibited ; doctrines are put forward as established 
truth, no doubt or hesitation is admitted, and it seems to be supposed 
that no further evidence is required, or that any new facts can modify 
our convictions. This is especially the case when we inquire. Are 
the various forms under which man now exists primitive, or derived 
from preexisting forms ; in other words, is man of one or many species ^ 
To this question we immediately obtain distinct answers diametrically 
opposed to each other : the one party positively maintaining that 
man is a sjyecies and is essentially one — that all differences are but 
local and temporary variations, produced by the different physical and 
moral conditions by which he is surrounded ; the other party main- 
taining with equal confidence that man is a genus of many species, 
each of which is practically unchangeable, and has ever been as dis- 
tinct, or even more distinct, than we now behold them. This differ- 
ence of opinion is somewhat remarkable, when we consider that both 
parties are well acquainted with the subject ; both use the same vast 
accumulation of facts ; both reject those early traditions of mankind 
which profess to give an account of his origin ; and both declare that 
they are seeking fearlessly after truth alone. I believe, however, it 
will be found to be the old story over again of the shield — gold on 
one side and silver on the other — about which the knights disputed ; 
each party will persist in looking only at the portion of truth on his 
own side of the question, and at the error which is mingled with his 
opponent's doctrine. It is my wish to show how the two opposing 



WALLACE ON THE OKIOilN OT HtTMAJT RACES. dix 

views can be combined so as to eliminate the error and retain the 
truth in each, and it is by means of Mr. Darwin's celebrated theory 
of " Natural Selection" that I hope to do this, and thus to harmonise 
the conflicting theories of modern anthropologists. 

Let us first see what each party has to say for itself. In favour of 
the unity of mankind it is argued that there are no races without 
transitions to others ; that every race exhibits within itself variations 
of colour, of hair, of feature, and of form, to such a degree as to 
bridge over to a large extent the gap that separates it from other 
races. It is asserted that no race is homogeneous ; that there is a 
tendency to vary ; that climate, food, and habits produce and render 
permanent physical peculiarities, which, though slight in the limited 
periods allowed to our observation, would, in' the long ages during 
which the human race has existed, have sufficed to produce all the 
differences that now appear. It is further asserted that the advocates 
of the opposite theory do not agree among themselves ; that some 
would make three, some five, some fifty or a liundred and fifty species 
of man ; some would have had each species created in pairs, while 
others require nations to have at once sprung into existence, and that 
there is no stability or consistency in any doctrine but that of one 
primitive stock. 

The advocates of the original diversity of man, on the other hand, 
have much to say for themselves. They argue that proofs of change 
in man have never been brought forward except to the most trifling 
amount, while evidence of his permanence meets us everywhere. 
The Portuguese and Spaniards, settled for two or three centuries in 
South America, retain their chief physical, mental, and moral charac- 
teristics ; the Dutch boers at the Cape, and the descendants of the 
early Dutch settlers in the Moluccas, have not lest the features or the 
colour of the Germanic races ; the Jews, scattered over the world in 
the most diverse climates, retain the same characteristic lineaments 
everywhere ; the Egyptian sculptures and paintings show us that, for 
at least 4000 or 5000 years, the strongly contrasted features of the 
Negro and the Semitic races have remained altogether unchanged ; 
while more recent discoveries prove that, in the case at least of the 
American aborigines, the mound-builders of the Mississippi valley, 
and the dwellers on Brazilian mountains, had still in the veiy infancy 
of the human race the same characteristic type of cranial formation 
that now distinguishes them. 

If we endeavour to decide impartially on the merits of this difficult 
controversy, judging solely by the evidence that each party has 
brought forward, it certainly seems that the best of the argument is 
on the side of those who maintain the primitive diversity of man. 
Their opponents have not been able to refute the permanence of ex- 
isting races as far back as we can tr&ce them, and have failed to 
show, in a single case, that at any former epoch the well marked 
varieties of mankind approximated more closely than they do at the 
present day. At the same time this is but negative evidence. A 
condition of immobility for four or five thousand years, does not pre- 
clude an advance at an earlier epoch, and — if we can show that there 



Clx JOUENAL OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

are causes in nature which would check any further physical change 
when certain conditions were fulfilled — does not even render such an 
advance improbable, if there are any general arguments to be adduced 
in its favour. Such a cause, I believe, does exist, and I shall now 
endeavour to point out its nature and its mode of operation. 

In order to make my argument intelligible, it is necessary for me 
to explain verj' briefly the theory of " Natural Selection" promulgated 
by Mr. Darwin, and the power which it possesses of modifying the 
forms of animals and plants. The grand feature in the multiplication 
of organic life is that of close general resemblance, combined with more 
or less individual variation. The child resembles its parents or an- 
cestors more or less closely in all its peculiarities, deformities, or 
beauties ; it resembles them in general more than it does any other 
individuals ; yet children of the same parents are not all alike, and it 
often happens that they differ very considerably from their parents 
and from each other. This is equally true of man, of all animals, and 
of all plants. Moreovei", it is found that individuals do not differ from 
their parents in certain particulars only, while in all others they are 
exact duplicates of them. They differ from them and from each other 
in every particular : in form, in size, in colour, in the structiwe of 
internal as well as of external organs ; in those subtle peculiarities 
which produce differences of constitution, as well as in those still 
more subtle ones which lead to modifications of mind and character. 
In other words, in every possible way, in every organ and in every 
function, individuals of the same stock vary. 

Now, health, strength, and long life are the results of a harmony 
between the individual and the universe that surrounds it. Let us 
suppose that at any given moment this harmony is perfect. A certain 
animal is exactly fitted to secure its prey, to escape from its enemies, 
to resist the inclemencies of the seasons, and to rear a numerous and 
healthy offspring. But a change now takes place. A series of cold 
winters, for instance, come on, making food scarce, and bringing an 
immigration of some other animals to compete with the former in- 
habitants of the district. The new immigrant is swift of foot, and 
surpasses its rivals in the pursuit of game ; the winter nights are 
colder, and require a thicker fur as a protection, and more nourishing 
food to keep up the heat of the system. Our supposed perfect animal 
is no longer in harmony with its universe ; it is in danger of dying of 
cold or of starvation. But the animal varies in its offspring. Some 
of these are swifter than others — they still manage to catch food 
enough ; some are hardier and more thickly furred — they manage in 
the cold nights to keep warm enough ; the slow, the weak, and the 
thinly clad soon die off. Again and again, in each succeeding gene- 
ration, the same thing takes place. By this natural process, which 
is so inevitable that it cannot be conceived not to act, those best 
adapted to live, live ; those least adapted, die. It is sometimes said 
that we have no direct evidence of the action of this selecting power 
in nature. But it seems to me we have better evidence than even 
direct observation would be, because it is more universal, viz., the 
evidence of necessity. It must be so ; for, as all wild animals in- 



WALLACE ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN RACES. clxi 

crease in a geometrical ratio, while their actual numbers remain on 
the average stationary, it follows that as many die annually as are 
born. If therefore, we deny natural selection, it can only be by 
asserting that in such a case as I have supposed, the strong, the 
healthy, the swift, the well clad, the well organised animals in every 
respect, have no advantage over, — do not on the average live longer 
than the weak, the unhealthy, the slow, the ill-clad, and the imper- 
fectly organised individuals ; and this no sane man has yet been found 
hardy enough to assert. But this is not all; for the offspring on the 
average resemble their parents, and the selected portion of each suc- 
ceeding generation will therefore be stronger, swifter, and more thickly 
furred than the last ; and if this process goes on for thousands of gene- 
rations, our animal will have again become thoroughly in harmony with 
the new conditions in which he is placed. But he will now be a different 
creature. He will be not only swifter and stronger, and more furry, 
he will also probably have changed in colour, in form, perhaps have 
acquired a longer tail, or differently shaped ears ; for it is an ascer- 
tained fact, that when one part of an animal is modified, some other 
parts almost always change as it were in sympathy with it. Mr. 
Darwin calls this " correlation of growth" and gives as instances that 
hairless dogs have imperfect teeth; blue eyed cats are deaf; small 
feet accompany short beaks in pigeons ; and other equally interesting 
cases. 

Grant, therefore, the premises: 1st. That peculiarities of every 
kind are more or less hereditary. 2nd. That the offspring of every 
animal vary more or less in all parts of their organisation. 3rd. 
That the universe in which these amimals live, is not absolutely in- 
variable ; — none of which propositions can be denied ; and then con- 
sider that the animals in any country (those at least which are not 
dying out) must at each successive period be brought into harmony 
with the surrounding conditions; and we have all the elements for a 
change of form and structure in the animals, keeping exact pace with 
changes of whatever nature in the surrounding universe. Such 
changes must be slow, for the changes in the universe are very slow ; 
but just as these slow changes become important, when we look at 
results after long periods of action, as we do when we perceive the 
alterations of the earth's surface during geological epochs; so the 
parallel changes in animal form become more and more striking 
according as the time they have been going on is great, as we see 
when we compare our living animals with those which we disentomb 
from each successively older geological formation. 

This is briefly the theory of " natural selection," which explains 
the changes in the organic world as being parallel with, and in part 
dependent on those in the inorganic. What we now have to inquire 
is, — Can this theory be applied in any way to the question of the origin 
of the races of man ? or is there anything in human nature that takes 
him out of the category of those organic existences, over whose suc- 
cessive mutations it has had such powerful sway ? 

In order to answer these questions, we must consider why it is that 
" natural selection " acts so powerfully upon animals, and we shall, I 

VOL. II. — NO. V. m 



clxii JOrENAl OF THE AKTIIBOPOLOGICAI, SOCIETY. 

believe, find that Its effect depends mainly upon their self-dependence 
and individual isolation. A slight injury, a temporary illness, will often 
end in death, because it leaves the individual powerless against its 
enemies. If a herbivorous animal is a little sick and has not fed well 
for a day or two, and the herd is then pursued by a beast of prey, 
our poor invalid inevitably falls a victim. So in a carnivorous animal 
the least deficiency of vigour prevents its capturing food, and it soon 
dies of starvation. There is, as a general rule, no mutual assistance 
between adults, which enables them to tide over a period of sickness. 
Neither is there any division of labour ; each must fulfil all the con- 
ditions of its existence, and, therefore, " natural selection " keeps 
all up to a pretty uniform standard. 

But in man, as we now behold him, this is different. He is social 
and sympathetic. In the rudest tribes the sick are assisted at least 
with food ; less robust health and vigour than the average does not 
entail death. Neither does the want of perfect limbs or other organs 
produce the same eiFocts as among animals. Some division of labour 
takes place ; the swiftest hunt, the less active fish, or gather fruits ; 
food is to some extent exchanged or divided. The action of natural 
selection is therefore checked ; the weaker, the dwarfish, those of less 
active limbs, or less piercing eyesight, do not suffer the extreme 
penalty which falls upon animals so defective. 

In proportion as these physical characteristics become of less im- 
portance, mental and moral qualities will have increasing influence on 
the well-being of the race. Capacity for acting in concert, for pro- 
tection and for the acquisition of food and shelter; sympathy, which 
leads all in turn to assist each other ; the sense of right, which checks 
depredations upon our fellows ; the decrease of the combative and 
destructive propensities ; self-restraint in present appetites ; and that 
intelligent foresight which prepares for the future, are all qualities 
that from their earliest appearance must have been for the benefit of 
each community, and would, therefore, have become the subjects of 
"natural selection." For it is evident that such qualities would be 
for the well-being of man; would guard him against external enemies, 
against internal dissensions, and against the effects of inclement seasons 
and impending famine, more surely than could any merely physical mo- 
dification. Tribes in which such mental and moral qualities were pre- 
dominant, would therefore have an advantage in the struggle for 
existence over other tribes in which they were less developed, would 
live and maintain their numbers, while the others would decrease and 
finally succumb. 

Again, when any slow changes of physical geography, or of climate, 
make it necessary for an animal to alter its food, its clothing, or its 
weapons, it can only do so by a corresponding change in its own 
bodily structure and internal organisation. If a larger or more 
powerful beast is to be captured and devoured, as when a carni- 
vorous animal which has hitherto preyed on sheep is obliged from 
their decreasing numbers to attack buffaloes, it is only the strongest 
who can hold, — those with most powerful claws, and formidable canine 
teeth, that can struggle with and overcome such an animal. Natural 



AVALI.ACK ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN EACES. clsiii 

selection immediately comes into play, and by its action these organs 
gradually become adapted to their new requirements. But man, under 
similar circumstances, does not require longer nails or teeth, greater 
bodily strength or swiftness. He makes sharper spears, or a better bow, 
or he constructs a cunning pitfall, or combines in a hunting party to 
circumvent his new prey. The capacities which enable him to do 
this are what he requires to be strengthened, and these will, there- 
fore, be gradually modified by " natural selection," while the form 
and structure of his body will remain unchanged. So when a glacial 
epoch comes on, some animals must acquire warmer fur, or a covering 
of fat, or else die of cold. Those best clothed by nature are, there- 
fore, preserved by natural selection. Man, under the same circum- 
stances, will make himself warmer clothing, and build better houses ; 
and the necessity of doing this will react upon his mental organ- 
isation and social condition — will advance them while his natural body 
remains naked as before. 

When the accustomed food of some animal becomes scarce or 
totally fails, it can only exist by becoming adapted to a new kind of 
food, a food perhaps less nourishing and less digestible. " Natural 
selection " will now act upon the stomach and intestines, and all their 
individual variations will be taken advantage of to modify the race 
into harmony with its new food. In many cases, however, it is pro- 
bable that this cannot be done. The internal organs may not vary 
quick enough, and then the animal will decrease in numbers, and 
finally become extinct. But man guards himself from such accidents 
by superintending and guiding the operations of nature. He plants 
the seed of his most agreeable food, and thus procures a supply in- 
dependent of the accidents of varying seasons or natural extinction. 
He domesticates animals which serve him either to capture food or 
for food itself, and thus changes of any great extent in his teeth or 
digestive organs are rendered unnecessary. Man, too, has everywhere 
the use of fire, and by its means can render palatable a variety of 
animal and vegetable substances, which he could hardly otherwise 
make use of, and thus obtains for himself a supply of food far more 
varied and abundant than that which any animal can command. 

Thus man, by the mere capacity of clothing himself, and making 
weapons and tools, has taken away from nature that power of changing 
the external form and structure which she e.\ercise8 over all other 
animals. As the competing races by which they are surrounded, the 
climate, the vegetation, or the animals which serve them for food, are 
slowly changing, they must undergo a corresponding change in their 
structure, habits, and constitution, to keep them in harmony with the 
new conditions — to enable them to live and maintain their numbers. 
But man does this by means of his intellect alone ; which enables 
him with an unchanged body still to keep in liarmony with the 
changing universe. 

From the time, therefore, when the social and sympatlielic feelings 
came into active operation, and the intellectual and moral faculties 
became fairly developed, man would cease to be infiuenced by 
" natural selection " in his physical form and structure ; as an 



Clxiv JOURNAL OF THE ANTHKOPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

animal he would remain almost stationary ; the changes of the sur- 
rounding universe would cease to have upon him that powerful modi- 
fying effect which it exercises over otlier parts of the organic world. 
But from the moment that his body became stationary, his mind 
would become subject to those very influences from which his body 
had escaped ; every slight variation in his mental and moral nature 
which should enable him better to guard against adverse circum- 
stances, and combine for mutual comfort and protection, would be 
preserved and accumulated ; the better and higher specimens of our 
race would therefore increase and spread, the lower and more brutal 
would give way and successively die out, and that rapid advancement 
of mental organisation would occur, which has raised the very lowest 
races of man so far above the brutes, (although differing so little from 
some of them in physical structure), and, in conjiinction with scarcely 
perceptible modifications of form, has developed the wonderful in- 
tellect of the Germanic races. 

But from the time when this mental and moral advance commenced, 
and man's physical character became fixed and immutable, a new 
series of causes would come into action, and take part in his mental 
growth. The diverse aspects of nature would now make themselves 
felt, and profoundly influence the character of the primitive man.* 

When the power that had hitherto modified the body, transferred 
its action to the mind, then races would advance and become improved 
merely by the harsh discipline of a sterile soil and inclement seasons. 
Under their influence, a hardier, a more provident, and a more 
social race would be developed, than in those regions where the 
earth produces a perennial supply of vegetable food, and where 
neither foresight nor ingenuity are required to prepare for the rigours 
of winter. And is it not the fact that in all ages, and in every quar- 
ter of the globe, the inhabitants of temperate have been superior to 
those of tropical countries ? All the great invasions and displace- 
ments of races have been from North to South, rather than the 
reverse ; and we have no record of there ever having existed, any more 
than there exists to-day, a solitary instance of an indigenous inter- 
tropical civilisation. The Mexican civilisation and government came 
from the North, and, as well as the Peruvian, was established, not in 
the rich tropical plains, but on the lofty and sterile plateaux of the 
Andes. The religion and civilisation of Ceylon were introduced from 
North India ; the successive conquerors of the Indian peninsula came 
from the North-west, and it was the bold and adventurous tribes of 
the North that overran and infused new life into Southern Europe. 

It is the same great law of " the preservation of favoured races in 
the struggle for life," which leads to the inevitable extinction of all 

• M. Guizot says : " If we regard the immediate influence of climate upon 
men, perhaps it is not so extensive as has been supposed. Bnt the indirect 
influence of climate, that which, for example, results from the fact that, in a 
warm country, men live in the open air, while in a cold counti-y they shut them- 
selves up in their houses ; that in the one case they nourish themselves in one 
manner, in the other in another; — these are facts of great importance, facts 
which, by the simple difference of material life, act powerfully upou civilisation." 
(Hist, of Civilisation in Europe.) 



WALLACE ON THE OEIOIN OF HUMAN BAOES. clxv 

those low and mentally undeveloped populations with which Euro- 
peans come in contact. The red Indian in North America, and in 
Brazil ; the Tasmanian, Australian and New Zealander in the southern 
hemisphere, die out, not from any one special cause, but from the 
inevitable effects of an unequal mental and physical struggle. The 
intellectual and moral, as well as the physical qualities of the European 
are superior ; the same powers and capacities which have made him 
rise in a few centuries from the condition of the wandering savage* 
with a scanty and stationary population to his present state of culture 
and advancement, with a greater average longevity, a greater average 
strength, and a capacity of more rapid increase, — enable him when in 
contact with the savage man, to conquer in the struggle for existence, 
and to increase at his expense, just as the more favourable increase 
at the expense of the less favourable varieties in the animal and 
vegetable kingdoms, just as the weeds of Europe overrun North 
America and Australia, extinguishing native productions by the 
inlierent vigour of their organisation, and by their greater capacity 
for existence and multiplication. 

If these views are correct ; if in proportion as man's social, moral 
and intellectual faculties became developed, his physical structure 
would cease to be affected by the operation of " natural selection," 
we have a most important clue to the origin of races. For it will 
follow, that those striking and constant peculiarities which mark the 
great divisions of mankind, could not have been produced and 
rendered permanent after the action of this power had become 
transferred from physical to mental variations. They must, there- 
fore, have existed since the very infancy of the race ; they must have 
originated at a period when man was gregarious, but scarcely social, 
with a mind perceptive but not reflective, ere any sense of right or 
feelings of sympathy had been developed in him. 

By a powerful effort of the imagination, it is just possible to per- 
ceive him at that early epoch existing as a single homogeneous race 
without the faculty of speech, and probably inhabiting some tropical 
region. He would be still subject, like the rest of the organic 
world, to the action of "natural selection," which would retain his 
physical form and constitution in harmony with the surrounding 
universe. He must have been even then a dominant race, spreading 
widely over the warmer regions of the earth as it then existed, and, 
in agreement with what we see in the case of other dominant species, 
gradually becoming modified in accordance with local conditions. 
As he ranged farther from his original home, and became exposed to 
greater extremes of climate, to greater changes of food, and had to 
contend with new enemies, organic and inorganic, useful variations 
in his constitution would be selected and rendered permanent, and 
would, on the principle of " correlation of growtli", be accompanied 

• " It is probable tbat the present state and couJition of New Zealand exhibit 
more neai-ly than any other the condition of Britain when the Romans entered 
it." (Turner, Hist, of Anglo-Saxons, i, p. 09.) " When the Eomins fivst became 
acquainted with Germany, the natives had ndvancod but a few steps beyond the 
savage state." (Encyc. Urit., art. Germany.) 



Clxvi JOURNAI. OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

by corresponding external physical changes. Thus arose those strik- 
ing characteristics and special modifications which still distinguish the 
chief races of mankind. The red, black, yellow, or blushing white 
skin; the straight, the curlj', the woolly hair; the scanty or abundant 
beard ; the straight or oblique eyes ; the various forms of the pelvis, 
the cranium, and other parts of the skeleton. 

But while these changes had been going on, his mental develop- 
ment had correspondingly advanced, and had now reached that con- 
dition in which it began powerfully to influence his whole existence, 
and would therefore, become subject to the irresistible action of 
" natural selection." This action would rapidly give the ascendancy 
to mind : speech would probably now be first developed, leading to a 
still further advance of the mental faculties, and from that moment 
man as regards his phy.sical form would remain almost stationary. 
The art of making weapons, division of laboui', anticipation of the 
future, restraint of the appetites, moral, social and sympathetic 
feelings, would now have a preponderating influence on his well 
being, and would thcvefoi-e be that part of his nature on which 
" natural selection " would most powerfully act; and we should thus 
have explained that wonderful ])ersistence of mere physical character- 
istics, which is the stumbling-block of those who advocate the unity of 
mankind. 

We are now, therefore, enabled to harmonise the conflicting views 
of anthropologists on this subject. Man may have been, indeed 
I believe must have been, once a homogeneous race ; but it was at a 
period of which we have as yet discovered no remains, at a period so 
remote in his history, that he had not yet acquired that wonderfully 
developed brain, the organ of the mind, which now, even in his lowest 
examples, raises him far above the highest brutes; — at a period when 
he had the form but hardly the nature of man, when he neither 
possessed human speech, nor those sympathetic and moral feelings 
which in a greater or less degree everywhere now distinguish the 
race. Just in proportion as these truly human faculties became 
developed in him would his physical features become fixed and per- 
manent, because the latter would be of less importance to his well 
being ; he would be kept in harmony with the slowly changing uni- 
verse around him, by an advance in mind, rather than by a change in 
body. If, therefore, we are of opinion that he was not really man till 
these higher faculties were developed, we may fairly assert that there 
were many originally distinct races of men ; while, if we think that a 
being like us in form and structure, but with mental faculties scarcely 
raised above the brute, must still be considered to have been human, 
we are fully entitled to maintain the common origin of all mankind. 

These considerations, it will be seen, enable us to place the origin 
of man at a much more remote geological epoch than has yet been 
thought possible. He may even have lived in the Eocene or Miocene 
period, when not a single mammal possessed the same form as any 
existing species. For, in the long series of ages during which the forms 
of these primeval mammals were being slowly specialised into those 
now inhabiting the earth, the power which acted to modify them would 



WALLACE ON inE ORIGIN OF HUMAN KACES. clxvii 

only affect the mental organisation of man. His brain alone would 
liave increased in size and complexity and his cranium have under- 
gone corresponding changes of form, while the whole structure of 
lower animals was being changed. This will enable us to understand 
how the fossil crania of Denise and Engis agi-ee so closely with exist- 
ing forms, although they undoubtedly e.xisted in company with large 
mammalia now extinct. The Neanderthal skull may be a specimen 
of one of the lowest races then existing, just as the Australians are 
the lowest of our modern epoch. We have no reason to suppose that 
mind and brain and skull-modification, could go on quicker than that 
of the other parts of the organisation, and we must, therefore, look 
back very far in the past to find man in that early condition in which 
his mind was not sufficiently developed to remove his body from the 
modifying influence of e.\ternal conditions, and the cumulative action 
of " natural selection." I believe, therefore, that there is no a priori 
reason against our finding the remains of man or his works, in the 
middle or later tertiary deposits. The absence of all such remains in 
the European beds of this age has little weight, because as we go 
further back in time, it is natural to suppose that man's distribution 
over the surface of the earth was less universal than at present. 
Besides, Europe was in a great measure submerged during the 
tertiary epoch, and though its scattered islands may have been un- 
inhabited by man, it by no means follows that he did not at the same 
time exist in warm or tropical continents. If geologists can point 
out to us the most extensive land in the wanner regions of the earth, 
which has not been submerged since eocene or miocene times, it is 
there that we may expect to find some traces of the very early pro- 
genitors of man. It is there that we may trace back the gradually 
decreasing brain of former races, till we come to a time when the body 
also begins materially to differ. Then we shall have reached the 
starting point of the human family. Before that period, he had not 
mind enough to preserve his body from change, and would, therefore, 
have been subject to the same comparatively rapid modifications of 
form as the other mammals. 

If the views I have here endeavoured to sustain have any founda- 
tion, they give us a new argument for placing man apart, as not only 
the head and culminating point of the grand series of organic nature, 
but as in some degree a new and distinct order of being. P'rom those 
infinitely remote ages, when the first rudiments of organic life 
appeared upon the earth, every plant, and every animal has been 
subject to one great law of physical change. As the earth has gone 
though its grand cycles of geological, climatal and organic progress, 
every form of life has been subject to its irresistible action, and has 
been continually, but imperceptibly moulded into such new shapes as 
would preserve their harmony with the ever changing universe. No 
living thing could escape this law of its being ; none could remain 
unchanged and live, amid the universal change around it. 

At length, however, there came into existence a being in whom 
that subtle force we term mind, became of greater importance than 
his mere bodily structure. Though with a naked and unprotected 



clxviii JOUENAL OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

body, this gave him clothing against the varying inclemencies of the 
seasons. Though unable to compete with the deer in swiftness, or 
with the wild bull in strength, this gave him weapons with which to 
capture or overcome both. Though less capable than most other 
animals of living on the herbs and the fruits that unaided nature 
supplies, this wonderful faculty taught him to govern and direct 
nature to his own benefit, and make her produce food for him when 
and where he pleased. From the moment when the first skin was 
used as a covering, when the first rude spear was formed to assist in 
the chase, the first seed sown or shoot planted, a grand revolution 
was efiected in nature, a revolution which in all the previous ages of the 
earth's history had had no parallel, for a being had arisen who was no 
longer necessarily subject to change with the changing universe — a 
being who was in some degree superior to nature, inasmuch, as he 
knew how to control and regulate her action, and could keep himself 
in harmony with her, not by a change in body, but by an advance of 
mind. 

Here, then, we see the true grandeur and dignity of man. On 
this view of his special attributes, we may admit that even those who 
claim for him a position as an order, a class, or a sub-kingdom by 
himself, have some reason on their side. He is, indeed, a being 
a])art, since he is not influenced by the great laws which irresistibly 
modify all other organic beings. Nay more ; this victory which he 
has gained for himself gives him a directing influence over other exist- 
ences. Man has not only escaped " natural selection" himself, but 
he actually is able to take away some of that power from nature which, 
before his "appearance, she universally exercised. We can anticipate the 
time when the earth will produce only cultivated plants and domestic 
animals ; when man's selection shall have supplanted " natural selec- 
tion"; and when the ocean will be the only domain in which that 
power can be exerted, which for countless cycles of ages ruled supreme 
over all the earth. 

Briefly to recapitulate the argument; — in two distinct ways has 
man escaped the influence of those laws which have produced un- 
ceasing change in the animal world. By his superior intellect he is 
enabled to provide himself with clothing and weapons, and by culti- 
vating the soil to obtain a constant supply of congenial food. This 
renders it unnecessary for his body, like those of the lower animals, 
to be modified in accordance with changing conditions — to gain a 
warmer natural covering, to acquire more powerful teeth or claws, or 
to become adapted to obtain and digest new kinds of food, as circum- 
stances may require. By his superior sympathetic and moral feelings, 
he becomes fitted for the social state ; he ceases to plunder the weak 
and helpless of his tribe ; he shares the game which he has caught 
with less active or less fortunate hunters, or exchanges it for weapons 
which even the sick or the deformed can fashion ; he saves the sick 
and wounded from death ; and thus the power which leads to the 
rigid destruction of all animals who cannot in every respect help 
themselves, is prevented from acting on him. 

This power is " natural selection"; and, as by no other means can 



■WALLACE OK THE OEIGIN OP HUMAN EACE8. clxix 

it be shewn that individual variations can ever become accumulated 
and rendered permanent so as to form well-marked races, it follows 
that the differences we now behold in mankind must have been pro- 
duced before he became possessed of a human intellect or human 
sympathies. This view also renders possible, or even requires, the 
existence of man at a comparatively remote geological epoch. For, 
during the long periods in which other animals have been undergoing 
modification in their whole structure to such an amount as to consti- 
tute distinct genera and families, man's body will have remained 
generically, or even specifically, the same, while his head and brain 
alone will have undergone modification equal to theirs. We can thus 
understand how it is that, judging from the head and brain, Professor 
Owen places man in a distinct sub-class of mammalia, while, as re- 
gards the rest of his body, there is the closest anatomical resemblance 
to that of the anthropoid apes, "every tooth, every bone, strictly 
homologous — which makes the determination of the difference be- 
tween Homo and Pithecus the anatomist's difficulty." The present 
theory fully recognises and accounts for these facts; and we may 
perhaps claim as coiToborative of its truth, that it neither requires us 
to depreciate the intellectual chasm which separates man from the 
apes, nor refuses full recognition of the striking resemblances to them 
which exist in other parts of its structure. 

In concluding this brief sketch of a great subject, I would point 
out its bearing upon the future of the human race. If my conclusions 
are just, it must inevitably follow that the higher — the more intellectual 
and moral — must displace the lower and more degraded races ; and the 
power of " natural selection", still acting on his mental organisation, 
must ever lead to the more perfect adaptation of man's higher faculties 
to the conditions of surrounding nature, and to the exigencies of the 
social state.* While his external form will probably ever remain un- 
changed, except in the development of that perfect beauty which 
results from a healthy and well organised body, refined and ennobled 
by the highest intellectual faculties and sympathetic emotions, his 
mental constitution may continue to advance and improve till the 
world is again inhabited by a single homogeneous race, no individual 
of which will be inferior to the noblest specimens of existing humanity. 
Each one will then work out his own happiness in relation to that of 
his fellows ; perfect freedom of action will be maintained, since the 
well balanced moral faculties will never permit any one to transgress 
on the equal freedom of others ; restrictive laws will not be wanted, for 
each man will be guided by the best of laws ; a thorough apprecia- 
tion of the rights, and a perfect sympathy with the feelings, of all about 
him ; compulsory government will have died away as unnecessary (for 
every man will know how to govern himself), and will be replaced by 
voluntary associations for all beneficial public purposes ; the passions 
and animal propensities will be restrained within those limits which 
most conduce to happiness; and mankind will have at length discovered 

* M. Guizot says : " For myself, [ am conviocecl that there is a destiny of 
huinniiity, a transmission of the nggreyate of civilisation." (Civilimtioii in 
Europe.) 



Clxx JOUBNAt OP THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

that it was only required of them to develope the capacities of their 
higher nature, in order to convert this earth, which had so long been 
the theatre of their unbridled passions, and the scene of unimaginable 
misery, into as bright a paradise as ever haunted the dreams of seer 
or poet.* 

The Pbesibent proposed a vote of thanks to the author of the 
paper, and the meeting passed it unanimously. 

The following discussion then took place. 

Mr. Luke Bukke said: No one will be surprised at my saying 
that the lecturer has made the very best of his case. That would be 
naturally expected, from what we know of Mr. Wallace's antecedents. 
I have only had the pleasure of hearing one paper from him, but that 
has given me very great interest and very great respect for his talents. 
If it had been possible to make a good case out of the theory which 
has been proposed, Mr. Wallace would have done it ; but, unfortu- 
nately, the case appears to me to be altogether hopeless. I have 
three fundamental objections to urge against his theory, and I will 
confine myself to these ; although, of course, there are many minor 
objections that would occur in regard to incidental remarks. I must, 
however, not forget to say that the theory by which he accounts for the 
permanency of human forms as contrasted with the inferior animals is 
exceedingly ingenious ; but, unfortunately, it assumes that one part 
of the organism can gradually be modified without the requisite cor- 
relations in the others. It divorces our power of judging of the 
mind from the body ; and I affirm that we have that power mentally, 
and not necessarily from the shape of the head. If we had sufficient 
intelligence, from any one part of the body, we ought to be able to 
infer everything else, internal and external. We cannot. The cypher 
is there, only we cannot read it. However, the first objection I have 
to urge against the theory of Mr. Darwin is, that it completely loses 
sight of the real point at issue — that it does not state the proposition 
correctly. The point at issue is, not whether these various ex- 
ternal influences — food, climate, exercise, etc. — are capable of pro- 
ducing modifications ; though, even there, I am perfectly ready to meet 
it. But the point at issue is this. Can they produce the modification 
actually required ? Can they change one set of harmonious forms 
into an absolutely difierent set ? Can they change one mechanism 
into another? Can they change that wonderful mechanism which 
you call wolf into that other equally wonderful and distinct set of 
proportions which you call greyhound, poodle, or spaniel ? It is very 
well for Mr. Darwin to say that changes in one part of the frame will 
induce changes in the other. I agree with that, because it is done 
by organic laws ; but you might as well say that a change in one part 
of a watch would superinduce the change in another. Yes, if the 
change is made by the watchmaker. That is quite another thing ; 

• The general idea and argument of this paper I believe to be new. It was, 
however, the perusal (if Mr. Herbert Spencer's works, especiallj Social Statics, 
that suggested it to me, aud at the same time t'uruislied nie with some of the 
upiiliuaiiuus. 



WALLACE ON THE OEIOIN OF HUMAN RACES. clxxi 

and the question we have to determine is, What will change one 
kind of mechanism into another ? In the body of the greyhound 
there is not a single particle that remains in the same relation as in 
tlie body of the wolf; and yet each one is an instance of the most 
admirable mechanism. That is one point at issue. Then, again, in 
causation there are two essential ideas — the fitness of the instrument, 
and adequate power to work it. Now, it is perfectly unphilosophical 
to assign causation where you are not able to show fitness, unless you 
ai'e able to prove causation as a matter of fact by other means. No 
one has attempted to do that ; no one can do it. No one can show 
that the accidental agencies of climate, food, etc., can produce cor- 
related changes in any case whatever. That is not proved as a mat- 
ter of fact, and you have no right to assume it. For instance, food, 
when conveyed into the stomach, is converted into blood, and sent as 
blood to all parts of the system. That is a general action ; but can 
yoii see anything in food that will lengthen a man's leg, shorten his 
waist, or vice versti, or that will give him a small head or a large one 
relative to his body ? Is there anything in food or climate that can 
do that.^ Why, we have not yet been able to prove that climate 
changes the colour of races, except temporarily, by producing vesicles, 
etc. That is the second objection, therefore, that in this theory there 
is no conceivable fitness in the assigned cause to produce the assigned 
efl"ect. Next, I maintain that it is absolutely impossible that these 
causes should produce such effects. The fundamental law of the 
universe is the law of causation. That law is, that there is an in- 
evitable relation between the cause and the effect; that, as causes 
vary, so must effects vary. If, then, you want to know the unknown 
cause of a given effect, all you have to do is to find out the known 
cause of some analogous and similar effect, and then you know that 
there is a corresponding difference between the causes as between the 
effect, and also a corresponding resemblance. Now, then, here is the 
cause of mechanism. All mechanism is one in principle, whether 
living mechanism or the mechanism produced by man. All imply 
correlation of parts and functions — adaptation of means to ends. 
Now, then, do we know of any cause that is competent to produce 
such things? We do. Intelligence is competent; we see human 
intelligence doing such things. No cause in the universe except in- 
telligence, then, can produce effects anything like those of intelli- 
gence. Surely non-intelligence cannot do it. Surely a non-intelli- 
gent cause cannot produce an intelligent effect. And not only so, 
but intelligence can never act without producing such things. Man 
never acts intelligently without adapting means to ends. Here, then, 
we have a case in which mechanism and all the wonders of mechan- 
ism are producible by a known cause ; consequently all the mechan- 
ism of the universe is, argumentatively, the result of intelligence. If, 
then, we want to know how species originated, we must go forth to 
those parts of nature where everything is regulated by a determined 
plan. I will tell you of a case in which you may change types very 
easily — in a single generation ; you do not want infinite time. The 
.simple crossing of types. The crossing of races produces intermediate 



clxxii JOUENAL OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

races, and they live and exist. Very well, there is a cause ; but that is 
out of the bounds of the theory of natural selection. That has nothing 
to do with Mr. Darwin's infinitesimal working. Here comes the dif- 
ficulty; the crossing of races is rigidly baiTcd within fixed limits. 
What are you to do out of those limits ? How do you get types, 
then ? By a mixture of different breeds of dogs you can get different 
types and varieties of dogs — some beautiful, some incongruous. Mr. 
Darwin's theory is admirable for telling us how races die out, but I 
do not see that it tells us how races come in. That is the point. 
Well, the crossing of dogs will produce — what ? A cow ? How does 
the cow come ? Again, Mr. Darwin's theory requires us to start with 
the species before there can be anything like a change ; but how did 
the species come ? How did the first type come ? Well, then, I say 
that the types outside the bounds of crossing come just as the first 
types come — by the plan of nature. There is one way of perfectly 
understanding it. In the living organism, you know that the various 
structures and portions have all their separate organs ; you know that 
a muscle does not develops into a nerve, and that a nerve does not 
develope into a lung or into blood-vessels. Not only every muscle, 
but every nervous fibre has its own origin. Well, call this great globe 
— this cosmos in which we exist — call this an organism, and you have 
the whole affair. By the laws of that organism, by the plan inherent 
in that organism, the first type came. The next type came at its pre- 
determined moment, when a certain state of cosmic influences were 
provided ; just as in the living organism bone never appears before a 
certain time, just as the brain does not appear before a certain time ; 
or in the world's organism, as geology reveals to us, there are periods 
when there are only slight changes, and then all of a sudden we come 
upon entirely new types. You see it is no infinitesimal sliding. Yes, 
there are a number of contemporaneous forms that present a great 
number of shadowings, but that is co-existence. You have not shewn 
the sequence. This, then, is a point at issue. What is it that pro- 
duces diversities beyond the bounds of species — germs, if you choose 
to call it so ? What was it that oiiginated the first species ? I could 
very easily enter into the question of the varieties produced in the 
ordinary course of things, but they must all be within the race. They 
are not varieties beyond the bounds of species. The varieties that 
take place in the ordinary course of parentage only imply the growth 
of the species and type ; for every type has its life, like the individual. 
The laws of life are always the same ; and consequently types are 
born and are developed in the succession of generations as a matter 
of necessity, and then they die and pass away. These, then, are the 
points we have to examine in the theory. What produces mechanistic 
changes, and what produced the first type, and what produces the 
types outside the process of intermixture ? 

Mr. George Witt : I really have not understood the gentleman 
who has taken up so much of the time of the meeting. It reminds 
me very much of the Scotchman's definition of metaphysics : excuse 
me if I repeat it. " When the party who listens disna ken what the 
party who speaks means, and when the party who speaks disna ken 
what he means himsel — that is metaphysics." (^Laughter.) 



AVALLACE ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN BACES. clxxiii 

Mr. BuKKE : There is evidently one person who cannot under- 
stand, at all events. {Laughter.') 

Mr. S. E. 13. BouvEKiE-PusEY : We have listened to a very 
eloquent attack on the transmutation hypothesis in general ; but I 
tinderstood that Mr. Wallace did not mean so much to bring that 
doctrine forward, as to show that, assuming its truth, it would easily 
explain the phenomena of the races of man, their gradations into each 
other, and their present permanence. What we are told by Mr. 
Burke is principally that you can produce variations within the limits 
of species, but not outside ; but that assumes the question whether 
there is a difference of kind, or species, or variety. Mr. Darwin does 
two things. He shows how varieties are produced — that is, by the 
action of natural selection ; and he proves (at least in the opinion of 
many persons, myself included) that there are differences between 
species and varieties ; and, as we know that varieties may be pro- 
duced by natural selection, we may presume that in a sufficient 
length of time species and genera may be produced. Some say that 
it extends to the origin of the universe ; but that does not follow. 
Many suppose the universe to be the creation of one Deity, some of 
opposite principles ; but Darwin does not teach anything of the kind. 
The whole question raised by Mr. Burke is not touched by the Dai'winian 
hj-pothesis at all. Mr. Burke has told us very fairly, that we ought 
to attribute things to such causes as we see in operation. Darwin 
and Mr. Wallace believe themselves to have proved that natural 
selection is such a cause. I must confess, however, that the idea in 
this paper was totally new to myself; and I believe that it must strike 
every one here as constituting a new era in anthropology. 

Mr. T. Bendyshe : The eloquent discourse we have heard from 
Mr, Burke, has nearly driven out of my recollection the ingenious 
paper we previously heard from Mr. Wallace. There are still some 
points, however, which I am able to recollect, and on which I cannot 
altogether agree with the author. As far as I understood it, the prin- 
cipal scope of the paper was, that in proportion as the intellect of man 
became developed, he was enabled to triumph over every elimatic in- 
fluence. Now if one thing has been proved more than another about 
the race of man, it is this, that the inhabitants of temperate climates 
have been unable to live and flourish either in tropical climates, or 
in the polar — the hyperborean climates ; and vice versa. If, there- 
fore, all the intellect of the European is unable to give him the 
slightest footing whatever in the tropics, what becomes of Mr. 
Wallace's proposition ? This is not a question of natural selection 
on the struggle for existence between one animal and another of nearly 
allied species ; this is a struggle of an animal with climate. I think 
that Mr. Darwin in his book has some expression of this kind. He 
applies the doctrine of Malthus with redoubled force to the animal 
kingdom. Now the doctrine of Malthus begins with the statement, 
that any animal or plant, if not checked by others, would in a short 
space of time cover the whole surface of the globe. He says that is 
incontrovertibly true. Now I should be inclined to say, that it is un- 
questionably false, that on the Darwinian theory, any animal could only 



Clxxiv JOUKNAt OF THE ANTHKOPOI.OOICAI, SOCIETV. 

cover the globe in process of time if uninterfered with, by ceasing to 
be the same animal or plant. That is the outside of what any one 
would admit from Darwin's theory. The very principle of that theory, 
Mr. Darwin does not exactly see the consequence of. It is not the 
theory of the struggle of existence between one animal and another, 
and, therefore, the idea that man, in proportion as his mind becomes 
developed, is able to overcome all climatic difficulties, is quite contrary 
to all observed facts. If it be said that the mind of the European is 
so extremely developed, that he has now lost the power of controlling 
his physical body — that the pendulum has swung so far that he can- 
not get it back, how is it that he can produce no effect upon those 
races of men who certainly have not been developed far beyond the 
animal, the negro, or the inhabitant of Tierra del Fuego ? The intellect 
of the European applied in every possible manner to enable these 
beings to live outside the zone in which they are born, can no more 
make them flourish than his own progeny. He can produce no effect 
on them. They perish in a temperate, just as much as he perishes 
in a tropical zone. Then again, man in his progress to the highly 
intellectual European, supposing him to be the descendant of one 
original tribe or parent, has, we have every reason to believe, passed 
through all these phases ; that he has passed through a tropical 
epoch, a glacial epoch, a temperate epoch. Now, how is it, if 
our predecessors have gone through all these forms, that we are in- 
capable of existing in one of those climates in which our ancestors 
have actually lived ? There again the theory fails, and I was unable 
to see anything in Wallace's paper that would answer this objection. 
In fact, in his paper, as in the book of Darwin, the struggle for 
existence has not been contemplated as applying not only to the con- 
test between one animal, and a nearly allied animal, but to other 
species. It has been considered merely in that light, and not as a 
struggle, which any animal must have with climatic conditions, if it 
wishes to spread itself as Mr. Wallace seems to think, an entirely 
homogeneous race may do, over the whole surface of the globe. 

Mr. REDDtE : Having recently given my opinion as to the theory 
of the origin of species at some length, in a paper, I am only anxious 
now to ask one or two questions of Mr. Wallace, because I should like 
to have this theory fully developed. But I may observe that I think 
he has raised a false issue in trying to connect the varieties of one 
species of living animals with Mr. Darwin's theory, which has nothing 
to do, strictly speaking, with varieties, but with the " origin of species" 
— not of varieties — by natural selection. I will not go into the specu- 
lative details which Mr. Wallace has very eloquently put before us as 
regards an imaginary world, which I think were extremely Utopian, 
and which, when this paper comes to be read and compared witii all 
our experience of the history of the human race in historical periods, 
will, I think, be found totally inconsistent with all the facts of man's 
experience. For example, about the cold climates ; — tho.se w ho lived 
in the coldest climates were to have the best houses and clothes. Then 
compare the Esquimaux and the English — why, the thing is absurd. 
But I do not %vant to go into these details, because they lead us, I think, 



WAI,I-ACE ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN RACES. clxXV 

very wide of the main question. He told us a great deal about man — 
inan, however, as far as I could make out, before he was man, because 
it was when he had no intellect or speech — and he expressly told us that 
the intellect of man and his speech became developed about the same 
time. Then what I want to know is, upon Mr. Wallace's principle, 
or any other principle of "natural selection", how this intellect came 
at all ? We have the animal — something I suppose between the man 
and the gorilla — but it could not soeak or think. From whence did 
this intellect, then, proceed at all? He gave us formerly something new 
in Darwin's theory, when he told us that the development of the canine 
teeth was not due to animal food, but to fighting for the females ! 
But I think the Utopia of the past, was nothing compared to the 
Utopia of the future, as painted by Mr. Wallace. Mankind began a 
homogeneous race — he did not tell us whether a white or a black race 
— and it is to end a homogeneous race ; and we are all to be so wise, 
that there are to be no wrongs or evils ! Meantime, I shall be glad to 
hear Mr. Wallace explain hoiv intellect was developed according to 
his theory in this curious being, whom I do not know how to describe, 
except by calling him " man before he was man". 

Mr Cabteb Blake: The most able paper of Mr. Wallace has 
given so clear an account of his theory, and Mr. Bendy.she and Mr. 
Pusey have so clearly expressed some of the criticisms I intended to 
have made on it, that I shall not detain you for a long period. One 
or two of the points to which Mr. Wallace called attention are, how- 
ever, still open to debate. With respect to our knowledge of human 
history, is it a fact that the nations that have been extirpated by other 
nations, whose ethnic eras have been followed by other successive 
nations — is it a fact that they were inferior, either intellectually or 
physically, to the nations that came after them ? Let us take an ex- 
ample in the case of the Basques. The Basques have been almost 
entirely extirpated from Western Europe. At one time, they occupied 
a large area ; while at the present time, they are confined to very limited 
areas in Spain and France. But we know absolutely nothing about 
the history of the Basques, and we are hot entitled to affirm that they 
were in any way inferior to the early savage Teutonic or Celtic nations 
that immediately extirpated them. This seems an important objection 
to some of the instances which Mr. Wallace has brought forward. 
Again, let us take the instance of the Celtic nations. We know that 
the Celtic nations, especially the Gauls, were driven westwards by the 
Frank or Teutonic nations; but if we compare the early traces of civi- 
lisation, which are afforded to us by the evidence of the most reliable 
contemporary historians, we know that the early Gauls, at least during 
the Roman period, were in a far higher degree of civilisation than those 
Franks who ultimately drove them before them, and who now occupy 
so large a portion of the French and Western German areas. There 
seems, in point of fact, to have been no intellectual inferiority between 
the Celtic and the Teutonic nations, and also no physical inferiority. 
It is true, that if we take some few striking examples of Scandinavian 
skeletons and measure their height, we see that the Scandinavian 
nations are those that usually comprise men of great stature, but when 



clxxvi JOURNAL OF THE ANTHttOPOLOOICA.t SOCIETY. 

we take a fair average, not upon the whole higher or stronger men 
than those of the indigenous Celtic stock. There seems to have been 
no physical superiority of the Teutonic nations, and therefore when we 
apply this theory of the extermination of weak physical frames in the 
struggle for life — which struggle has undoubtedly operated in those in- 
ferior types of men (inferior as they were at that time) I fail to see what 
is the object that this theory of natural selections effects as to the ex- 
termination of these forms of life in Western Europe, so far as history 
gives us information on the subject. Then, with respect to there being 
a certain correlation between the structure of man and the locality in 
which he lives, if we examine a great many tribes of men at this time, 
there is not the slightest correlation between the structure of man 
and his habitat. For example, in the tropical countries we have cer- 
tain races with a thick skull, and there have not been wanting theorists 
— I will not call them anthropologists — that have imagined that such 
thickness of skull was given to those nations as a beneficent provision 
to enable them the better to survive under the burning sun. Such is 
one version of the story, and I fear that the advocates of the theory of 
natural selection would adopt a similar style of argument. They 
would tell us that there are men of a certain average thickness of 
skull, in warm climates that those men who had a skull of greater 
thickness would in process of time survive, and that the thin-skulled 
races would in process of time die out. Well, such a thing may 
have some foundation in truth. But in India, where the sun is as 
torrid as in any other part of the globe, we find a nation that has 
the thinnest skull. I confess, therefore, that I do not see the connec- 
tion between the structure of superior animals and the circumstances 
in which they live, any more than I see in all cases the connection 
between the adaptation of the structure of the inferior animals and 
the circumstances in which they live. Anthropologists will in the 
course of time adopt this style of argument ; and as to the reference 
which has been made to final causes, that, I think, is quite a bygone 
style of argument. Then Mr. Wallace has hinted that we may, per- 
haps, be entitled to consider riian as the commencement of an entirely 
new order of things. This may be so. Of course, we cannot say when 
a new order of beings may commence or end. But what are the 
proved facts ? That man is more like the inferior animals — at least, 
more so than anything else on earth ; that, taking the arguments of the 
transmutationist on its lowest, most generalised, and most simple aspect, 
man is a great deal more like the gorilla and chimpanzee than the 
whale, or than any hypothetical sort of animal that may belong to a 
new order of beings. Then, with respect to man controlling nature. 
I do not know how he does so. It appears to me that he is subject 
to just the same diseases and vicissitudes of climate as inferior ani- 
mals. The drought or the loss of food that exterminates the inferior 
animals exterminates man ; and I do not see how man can be ex- 
cluded from simple physiological laws, by saying that civilisation 
controls nature. Of course, it does to a certain extent ; but civilisa- 
tion has been utterly inadequate to take man out of the power of 
ordinary diseases, and those climatic effects which influence human 



■WALLACE ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN BACES. clxxvii 

beings as well as inferior animals. Having made this criticism, I 
hope that these observations will not be taken as against the theory 
of transmutation of man from the inferior animals. That theory has 
great probabilities in its favour, and will no doubt be borne out by 
facts. Whether the Darwinian theory can help us is another ques- 
tion ; and, in the meantime, such papers as Mr. Wallace's will be in 
the highest degree valuable. I am sorry that his propositions should 
have been so remarkably misrepresented as they have been this even- 
ing. The whole theory of Mr. Darwin seems destined to pass through 
an age when it will be utterly misconceived and misrepresented by 
the general public, and a great evidence in its favour appears to be 
the amount of misrepresentation and divergences in the different ver- 
sions, and that are placed in the scale respecting it. In respect to 
Mr. Burke's remarks, I shall not detain you very long. Mr. Burke 
commenced by saying he would lay down three general propositions. 
I did not understand what they were, but I mentally classed his re- 
marks under three distinct heads — the statement of facts which I 
accept, of facts which I deny, and of facts which I did not understand. 
I will begin with facts which I accept. He has told us that an ani- 
mal like a dog or a wolf never produces a cow. Mr. Burke and 1 are 
in perfect accord upon that topic, and I doubt not that Mr. Wallace 
and Mr. Darwin will be also. He also tells us that he never knew a 
nerve to develope into a muscle, or into lungs, or blood-vessels. Neither 
did I ; and I believe those are the two principal facts of Mr. Burke, 
which I accept most unqualifiedly. But then he has told us what 
are the fundamental laws of the universe applied to man. I am sorry 
1 don't know them, and I humbly doubt if any of us know them — we 
are here this evening as a society to try and discover some of the laws 
which regulate man. I for one, do not know what those fundamental 
laws may be, that may hereafter be discovered. Mr. Burke has also 
compared man to mechanism, and carried out the old illustration of 
man and the watch, showing that if you attack the mainspring certain 
consequences will follow. Gentlemen, the day is utterly past and gone 
when such an argument could have the slightest value in biology. We 
know that nothing that lives and moves and has its being in nature, 
bears the slightest analogy to mechanism in any way. Mr. Burke has 
told us that there are certain limits within which we can say that the 
hybrids are, or are not fertile in the human species. I for one, must deny 
this. I know not whether Mr. Burke, who knows the fundamental 
laws of the universe, may have some special information, but all the 
evidence which Broca and the best French authorities, or their brother 
anthropologist of America, Dr. Nott, can bring to bear, tells us dis- 
tinctly that we cannot predict the limits in which hybrids are or are 
not fertile. The time will come, I doubt not, when we shall be able 
to do so ; and a work will soon be laid before us, translated from a 
memoir by the secretary of our sister society in Paris, which will give 
some known facts on the subject. Till then, I submit, it is waste of 
time to discuss it. 

Mr. Biteke: I can only say, gentlemen, that I was bound in my 
address to give argument, but I was not bound to give understanding. 

VOL. II. — NO. VI. n 



Clxxviii JOURNAL OF THE ANTHKOPOLOGICAL SOCIETY. 

Mr. PusEY : I do not want to occupy the time of the Societ)', but 
it occurred to me that the fact of the congregation and yet non-trans- 
mutation of the human race, might possibly be explained by supposing, 
on Darwin's hypothesis, that he proceeded from one stock, but that 
he is now separated into different species. We do see species in the 
lower animals approaching one another — we see dogs, for instance, 
approaching to the wolf ; but we do not see species ever transmuted 
into one another. But if we suppose distinct species to have had a 
common origin, the transmutation hypothesis might account for 
the facts. 

The Pbesidknt: Before I call upon Mr. Wallace for his reply, I 
will make a few observations. I was, in common with yourselves, 
charmed with the paper; indeed, I was so much charmed, from the 
elaborate promises made in the opening of the paper of what "na- 
tural selection " could do, that a feeling of disappointment came over 
me at the conclusion, that those promises, which we were told would 
set to rights the difficulties of antliropologists, were not quite verified. 
When the author asserted that those difficulties would be set to 
rights by the principle of "natural selection," I do not think he sufli- 
ciently weighed the evidence that warranted him in making that 
assertion. I think it a pity that the two subjects of Darwin's hypo- 
thesis and Mr. Wallace's paper should have been so mixed up this 
evening ; it would, perhaps, have been better if we had confined our 
remarks to subjects touched on in the paper. It appeared to me that 
the paper we have heard dealt very largely with assumptions. Mr. 
Wallace told us that man may have sprung from one race ; indeed, 
he goes further, and says he must. Now, really this seems to me to 
be hardly a satisfactory argument. I hardly could have expected 
that the theory which was going to solve all the difilculties would at 
once make such an assertion, and I could not discover in the whole 
of the paper any facts that warranted the assertion. There is no 
doubt that hypotheses like Mr. Darwin's, and the one brought for- 
ward this evening, have a very great charm, because they attempt to 
explain so much. Does Mr. Wallace attempt to found his theory on 
known facts ? If he does, then he failed to give those facts in his 
paper, and I am under a very strong impression that he has no facts 
to bring forward. 

Mr. Wallace : What facts ? 

The Pkesident : Mr. Wallace asks me to specify the facts I allude 
to, and I have no objection to do so. Now, what do we learn from 
archaeology ? Take the whole of the remains of different continents, 
and what do we find ? Go to America, and what do we find there ? 
Do we find any indications of a different race dwelling there from the 
race of men that now exists ? Not at all ; and so wherever we go. 
Of course, if )'0u go and take a Neanderthal skull as a type of a lace, 
although there is good evidence to believe it simply the skull of an 
idiot, you beg the whole question. Mr. Wallace's theory appears to 
me not to be warranted by our present knowledge, and we cannot, I 
think, accept it. If the object of the paper is to assist in founding a 
science, that does not appear to have been carried out in the eloquent 



■WALLACE ON TUB OBTCIN OP HUMAN RACKS. clxxix 

appeal which has been addi'essed to-night to the imagination. I 
must say that the opposite side has been equally imaginative. Mr. 
Burke, for instance, pronounces the thing to be impossible — a state- 
ment that is of course equally absurd. Assertions on either side stand 
for just nothing. And then the author of the paper tells us that man 
must have e.xisted from a very remote period — the author says ten 
millions of years. Well, we have, of course, no objection to that; 
any quantity of time is at the disposal of any speculative philosopher. 
And then he brings rather a charge against anthropologists — that 
they look to that portion only of the truth that is on their side, and 
insist on looking at the errors on the other side. I hardly think that 
such a statement is fair to anthropologists, ethnologists, and ethno- 
graphers ; on the contrary, I believe there are many anthropologists 
living who are at least as capable of looking at the whole facts as any 
disciple of Darwin. 1 think there are men in Europe who do not 
simply look at facts which favour their own side, but who look at 
facts as a whole, and look at them fairly, and endeavour to interpret 
what may be truth from a careful examination of the whole evidence. 
We are told that the Portuguese and Spanish retain their characte- 
ristics in South America. That is an assertion which ought to have 
some evidence to support it. We are told that the Jews everywhere 
remain the same. 1 think this is an argument that Mr. Wallace puts 
into the mouth of a polygenist. 

Mr. Wallace : Alike in features. 

The President : If they are alike in features they will be alike in 
other characteristics. This is no evidence at all. 1 am perfectly 
aware that there is no change in craniological development and 
stature, and the mere change in the colour of the skin is temporary. 

Mr. BoLLAEKT : They lose their prolific character. 

The President : Yes, on removal to climates that do not suit 
them ; just as you cannot propagate a European race in India. Then 
he tells us that the best of the argument is for the principle of the 
diversity of the human race ; and no doubt the polygenists will be 
glad to hear that they have the best of the argument. Now, Mr, 
Wallace very frankly admits, in opposition to some of the recent dis- 
ciples of Mr. Darwin, than man differs from the ape very little in 
physical structure. I believe that some of his disciples now have 
come to say that there is a very great difference, and that a Nean- 
derthal skull only approaches very little towards the ape. It is a 
pleasant thing to find one Darwinite, at least, true to his colours, and 
not frightened away from them by the clamour of the mob. Then 
he tells us that a hardy and more prolific race will be developed — a 
very provident race, too. I don't know, by the way, the physical 
characters of a provident race. I should be glad to know how this 
provident race is going to be produced ? And then we have the 
statement that the Mexican government came from the north : but 
that is open to discussion, like all the other statements. Again, there 
is another assertion : that the ancient Britons were in a savage state 
at the time of Julius Caesar. Is that really a fact ? Has it any but 
the barest traditional historic evidence as a foundation ? It is not 

«2 



CIXXX JOTTBNAL OF THE ANTHHOPOLOGICAI, SOCIETY. 

founded on known facts: but on tradition called history. It is 
brought forward as an argument to say that the Britons were slaves 
and savages two thousand years ago, and therefore that some people 
that are savages now will in that time be equal to us. But the whole 
thing is an absurdity, inasmuch as you cannot prove the fact, except 
on the barest traditional evidence. We were told of " natural selec- 
tion" by virtue of external causes ; now we are told of the inherent 
power ; but this is surely wrong. There must be some mistake here, 
because the principle of selection is based on external circumstances. 
I should therefore expect Mr. Wallace, for the benefit of his argument, 
to withdraw the expression "inherent power." As to man being without 
the faculty of speech, I thought that speech was man's distinguishing 
characteristic. Professor Huxley, following Cuvier, at least saj'S so. 
Then we are told that man can take away the power of natural selec- 
tion. Well, if man can do that, what a powerless thing natural se- 
lection must be. If man, little man, even civilised man, has the power 
to take away this so-called law of natural selection, what a powerless 
law it mtist be. At the same time, 1 would say nothing against the 
law of natural selection as an hypothesis. It stands on its own 
merits as a purely philosophic speculation, but forms no part of in- 
ductive science. We ought always to make a great distinction in 
that. I put the Darwinian hypothesis just in the same category with 
any other hypothesis that can be brought against it on the same sub- 
ject. Neither is more acceptable than the other, and it is only a 
question which can be proved. However, in all these matters we like 
a little poetical license ; and I must confess that I listened with some 
pleasure to the beautiful dream that the author of the paper called 
up at the end. Although he did not satisfy me with science and with 
facts, he thoroughly satisfied me with the after-destiny of man. But 
the curious part of the case was that man's external characters were 
always to remain the same. That I do not like, and think that is a 
mistake. But his mind was to be advanced and improved without 
any development at all of the brain. All the other characters were 
to exist, though there was to be no individual inferior to the existing 
highest races. Well, that is satisfactory for some of the lower ones ; 
they will not exist at all events. Then Mr. Wallace said that we 
were all to be equal ; but that seems to be a long time oflf. Again, 
government will be unnecessary. Of course, that is a great blessing, 
I admit. Passions will not exist ; or they will be ordered in a tem- 
perate manner, and exactly in accordance with man's physical forma- 
tion. And all this is to be with exactly the same brain organisation 
as now. I suppose the laws of natural selection will entirely change 
the whole functions of the brain, and the whole functions of man 
will be changed, although his physical character will remain the 
same. Now, I hope that the author of the paper, for his own credit, 
will withdraw the whole of this dream, and not mix up these two 
subjects. As students of science we must object to this sort of 
dreaming, because it cannot be based on evidence. Some members 
of this society are accused of bringing forward speculations; but 
none of them have yet brought forward anything a thousandth part 



WALLACE ON THE OBIOIK OF HUUAN BACE8. clxxxi 

as speculative as this. I do hope that Mr. Wallace will make us un- 
derstand that he does not insinuate that this dream has anything to 
do with his theory, or with Mr. Darwin's hypothesis, and then, I am 
sure, we shall all be very much indebted to him for coming before ns 
this evening. Although I may regret that his own theory has not 
been better established ; yet his paper shows most conclusively the 
exact position of the present state of Darwinianism. I believe this 
is the first occasion in which we have had a clear logical statement of 
the position in which the theory of transmutation by external circum- 
stances now stands in reference to Anthropology ; and I am sure you 
will all agree with me in heartily thanking the author of the paper. 

Mr. Wallace: Before I begin seriatim to notice a few of the 
objections made to my paper, I should like to correct a slight misap- 
prehension which Dr. Hunt has made, while fresh in my memory. I 
have been obliged, in order to compress my remarks, and at the same 
time to make my meaning clear, to use expressions which are, per- 
haps, not logically accurate. In the latter part of the paper, the 
argument is the contrast between change of body and change of mind. 
By the former was meant change of organisation, of the limbs par- 
ticularly, and of other external physical characteristics. By the 
mind I always include the brain and skull — the organ of the mind — 
the cranium and the face ; and therefore, when I afterwards con- 
trasted change of external form with change of mind, of course I do 
not mean to say that the cranium which contains the organ of mind 
was stationary. Therefore, I beg to be understood that there is no 
contradiction in my argument, — that man may advance to this high 
state of civilisation, while his physical frame remains unchanged. 
Mr. Burke's observations have, to a great extent, been answered by 
several speakers. I would say that they appeared to me totally to 
misrepresent the purport of my paper. Of course it was seen that, 
to a certain extent, it was impossible to go into details with respect to 
this subject of natural selection, and I only brought forward my illus- 
trations of it to refresh the memory of those who are not thoroughly 
acquainted with the whole theory. I do not now argue generally for 
that theory ; I merely show how it applies to a particular doctrine of 
anthropology. I endeavoured to apply it in a way in which it has not 
been applied before. I will now pass on to notice the special objec- 
tions that have been brought forward to my theory. Mr. Burke's 
arguments were all against the theory of natural selection itself; but 
Mr. Darwin has argued it so well that it is impossible for me to add 
anything. The two next gentlemen who spoke agreed with me gene- 
rally. Mr. Bendyshe objected to my statement, that man, to some 
extent, triumphs over nature ; and he argued thut man does not 
triumph over climate, because Europeans cannot live in the tropics, 
and the natives of the tropics cannot live in Europe. First, I say 
that there are facts to show that that is not absolutely the case. There 
are cases in which Europeans have gone and resided in the tropics, 
and, as far as we can see, live there to this day perfectly well. One 
particular case I will mention. In the interior of South America, 
on the eastern slope of the Andes, the head waters of the Amazon, 



Clxxxii JOURNAL OF THE ANTH aOPOLOGICAL SOCIKTY. 

there is a district quite isolated from the rest of the world, cut off on 
the one side from the Pacific by the Andes, and on the other side by 
the intervention of Brazil, no communication of any kind having been 
allowed till recently. In this upper valley of the Amazon there is a 
large population, purely European, or at least very nearly so. There 
are a number of towns and cities there, numbering ten, fifteen, and 
even twenty thousand inhabitants. No doubt the race is partly 
mixed, — we cannot say how much, but my friend, Mr. Spruce the 
botanist, describes them to me as actually whiter than the Brazilians, 
remarkably white for a south European race. He was astonished to 
come upon so large a population, which knew nothing of any other 
part of the world. They are the descendants of some of the Spanish 
settlers. Here, then, we have the case of a European population 
transferred to a tropical country. 

Mr. BoLLAEBT : Will you name some of those cities ? 

Mr. Wallace : Well, Tarapoto, and Moyobamba. 

Mr. BoLLAEKT : I should say that the population was two-thirds 
Indian ; certainly a mixed race. 

Mr. Wallace : I got the information from a gentleman who has 
resided there, and he assured me that the mass of the population was 
white. 

Mr. BoLLAEKT : There is a great deal of Indian blood. 

Mr. Bbndyshe : What is the altitude ? 

Mr. Wallace : Not more than a thousand feet above the sea. 
The plain of the Andes is perfectly flat. 

Mr. BoLLAEBT : If there is Indian blood there, that is the very 
point. 

Mr. Wallace : But it is urged, that directly j'ou get a cross you 
get infertility ; and yet here there are immense numbers. 

Mr. Bollaert: I doubt extremely the immense numbers. 

Mr. Wallace : I can only give the facts as they were given to 
me. If they are wrong, they can be disproved; but the question 
does not depend upon that ; for admitting that man may not be able 
to stand a sudden change in climate, yet, supposing that the change 
were a slow one— supposing that Europe were gradually sunk beneath 
the sea from the north, so that we were gradually shoved, as it were, 
into a tropical climate at the rate of a few miles in a century, — do you 
not think that natural selection would act so that the race would stand 
the climate } I do not think we should all die out. All the facts 
of nature seem to be opposed to such a supposition. The dog has 
stood all over the world with us notwithstanding the climate. 

Mr. Blake : May 1 ask the historical evidence of the migration of 
dogs? 

Mr. Wallace : I cannot now go into that. Dogs are carried by 
man all over the world. 

Mr. Bollaert : And they die. 

Mr. Wallace : Mr. Reddie began by saying that Mr. Darwin's 
theory had nothing to do with varieties. Now, from my study of the 
theory, it appeared to be all founded on the study of varieties. The 
whole argument is based on varieties, showing that they merge gra- 
dually into species. 



WALLACE ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN RACES. clxXXul 

Mr. Reddie : What I meant to say was, that it was not limited to 
varieties. 

Mr. Wallace : I thought you said it had nothing to do with va- 
rieties. Then, another very strong argument was that the Esquimaux, 
notwithstanding their bad climate, do not build good houses, not so 
good as Englishmen. I have asserted that man, in his progress from 
a low to a high state, would be assisted by the necessary discipline 
of a harsh climate, which would make him exert his mental faculties 
much more than a tropical climate. Now, I think that is almost self- 
evident, and is not at all affected by the fact that the Esquimaux are 
less intelligent than the English. The question is, " Do they build 
houses at all ? Yes ; and very good ones. Travellers describe how 
ingeniously they build their snow houses ; and the manner in which 
they make their clothing and sledges shows that they are not so low 
intellectually as most of the inhabitants of tropical countries. Mr. 
Reddie also wants to know how the intellect came at first. I don't pre- 
tend to answer that question, because we must go so long back. If Mr. 
Reddie denies that any animal has intellect, it is a difficult question 
to answer ; but if animals have intellect in different proportions, and 
if the human infant, the moment it is born, has not so much intellect 
as an animal, and if, as the infant grows, the intellect grows with it, 
I do not see the immense difficulty if you grant the universal process 
of selection from lower to higher animals. If you throw aside alto- 
gether, this process of selection, you need not make the objection 
about the intellect. Mr. Blake made a few objections, which may 
have some little weight. The principal was that we have no evidence 
to show that when one race, or nation, or people are exterminated, or 
driven out by another, the one that is so exterminated is necessarily 
inferior ; and he wanted to show either by historic evidence or by re- 
mains of bodies that it is impossible to say that the Celtic was in- 
ferior to the Teutonic, or the Basque inferior to the race which drove 
them out. Now, it appears to me that the mere fact of one race sup- 
planting another proves their superiority. It is not a question of in- 
tellect only, nor of bodily strength only. We cannot tell what causes 
may produce it. A hundred peculiarities, that we can hardly appre- 
ciate, may cause the one race to melt away, as it were, before the 
other. But still there is the plain fact tliat two races came into 
contact, and that one drives out the other. This is a proof that the 
one race is better fitted to live upon the world than the other. Mr. 
Blake says that there is no necessary correlation between man and 
his habitat ; and he endeavoured to show that, by proving that the 
thickness of the crania does not vary in accordance with the heat of 
the sun. No doubt such an objection is very easy to make ; but we 
must consider, is it at all likely that we shall be able, by our exa- 
mination, to appreciate this correlation, whatever it may be. For 
instance, you take two animals ; one lives in a northern hemisphere, 
the other in a southern, — one in a wet country, the other in a dry 
one. Can you tell me why these two animals are fitted to live in 
their respective climates ? They may be so closely allied that you can 
hardly find out their differences; and if you cannot find out the 



Clxxxiv JOURNAI, OF THE ANTHBOFOLOGICAL SOCIETV. 

difference in animals which serves to adapt them to the climate, 
is it likely you can find out the difference in man ? But there are 
facts which show that there is a correlation between man and his 
habitat. For instance, take the case of the inhabitants of West 
Africa, who stand the fever and malaria of that country ; and it is 
the same in New Orleans. It is asserted in America, I believe, that 
one -fourth of black blood is enough to save the individual from the 
yellow fever in New Orleans. This is a striking case, I think, of cor- 
relation between man and his habitat. Then again, as to the preva- 
lence of black-skinned races in the tropical regions, I do not believe 
that there is any special production of the black skin by the heat of 
the sun ; but I believe that because the black skin is correlative to the 
hot sun, the black skinned constitution is best adapted to stand the 
diseases of the climate, and the process of natural selection has 
preserved them. If we find a people who are apparently not well 
adapted to stand the climate, we have some reason to believe that 
they are a comparatively recent immigration into the country. My 
friend, Mr. Bates, who is not here, has supported this theory from his 
observations on the Amazon, asserting that the inhabitants of tropical 
America are a recent introduction. He comes to that conclusion 
from a great many peculiarities of manners and customs, and if so, it 
is a corroboration of the argument that races do become correlated 
to the climate in which they live. Mr. Blake objected to my state- 
ment, that man can to a certain extent control nature. He asserted 
that man could not control disease; but that was not the point I 
went upon. I especially mentioned the point on which man can con- 
trol nature,— raising himself by his intellect above the action of 
natural selection, which changes the forms of other animals, because 
they could only be kept in harmony with the universe except by being 
changed ; whereas man is kept in harmony by his mind. Again, no 
weak animal — no animal born with a sickly constitution — lives to 
propagate its kind : but man does. Hundreds of weak individuals 
live to a comparatively healthy and comfortable old age, and have large 
families. This is a special case, in which man controls nature dif- 
ferently to the animals. He controls nature so much that he is 
an exception to all the rest of animated beings. Dr. Hunt made a 
great many special objections. He says, I disappointed him, because 
I promised to explain everything. 1 must say, I did not. I simply 
proposed to myself to explain, or rather to suggest, a theory which 
should do away with this difficulty of the absolute contradiction be- 
tween two classes of ethnologists, commonly called the nionogenists 
and the polygenists, by showing that both were right. I think that 
is a most satisfactory way of harmonising people that differ. Again, 
he objects to my using the expression " must have been". Well, I 
put in the words "I believe," and "according to the Darwinian 
theory", because, according to that theory, every group of species 
arises from one, every group of varieties from one, every group of 
individuals from a pair; therefore, if )ou do but go far back enough, 
you must come to a unity of origin. If that theory is utterly wrong, 
then my argument goes for nothing. Then Dr. Himt says I did not 



■\VAI,I-A.CK ON THK ORIGIN OF HUMAN RACliS. clxXXV 

give facts enough. Well, first you are aware that in a subject like 
this, if a sufficiency of facts were given, they would fill a volume ; 
consequently, I was obliged in this paper to sketch and allude 
hastily to facts. Dr. Hunt asserts, that archaeology shows that the 
ancient races were the same as modern. Well, that is a fact I quoted 
on my own side, and his quoting it against me only shows that you 
can twist a fact as you like. I quoted it as a proof that you must 
go to an enormous distance of time to bridge over the difference 
between the crania of the lower animals and of man. I said, per- 
haps a million, or even ten millions, of years were necessary. If 
my argument is correct, it is a logical conclusion. Dr. Hunt objects 
to my using an expression to the effect that students are rather dog- 
matic in assertions of this kind. Well, I think I could bring forward 
facts to prove this; and I should think that anybody who knows 
anything of the literature of the subject, would agree with me that 
there is the strongest feeling on both sides that they are right, and 
that they express their feelings in the strongest manner, and that 
each party is inclined to look down on what it believes to be the ab- 
surd ideas of the other. Still, I do not deny that there are some who 
do not manifest this dogmatic feeling. With respect to the fact about 
the Portuguese and Spaniards in South America, I can assert it on 
my own authority, because I have lived among them, and have seen 
European families in tropical countries who have been there for many 
generations. I may name the town of Amboyna, in the Moluccas, where 
there are families that have kept their blood pure for three hundred 
years, as fair skinned, and in every respect like Dutch men and women. 

Mr. Bollaeut: Have not fresh families been sent out to them 
from Holland ? 

Mr. Wallace : Possibly so. 

Mr. BoLLAEKT : But that is very important. 

Mr. Wallace: I allow it; but still there is the fact, that this 
period of time has produced no change. If there was a change, not- 
withstanding a little fresh blood, it would be perceptible. 

Mr. BoLLAEKT : More than a little, depend upon it. 

Mr. Wallace : But there is no perceptible difference. Of course, 
these kind of facts are the most difficult in the world lo got at. You 
cannot isolate men. They will mix; and there is no possible fact 
you can bring forward but is liable to the same objection. It was 
thought at one time, by Prichard and the older ethnologists, that 
it was a strong argument for the unity of the ]ace that the Jews 
were white, black, and brown. Now, it is known that in every case 
in which the Jews have changed colour apparently, it has been the 
Jewish converts who have been treated as Jews, simply because 
they have embraced that religion. But a belter pioof than colour is 
physiognomy, which you see maintained in the Jews all over the 
world. Physiognomy maintains itself much longer than colour ; and 
it seems as if the physiognomy of the superior race maintained itself 
much longer than the inferior ; whereas the colour of the inferior race is 
often roost lasting. For example, I may mention the descendants of 
the Portuguese in the Malay archipelago. In a great many towns there 



clxXXvi JOURXAI- OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETV. 

are thousands of Portuguese; some of them keep the Portuguese 
language; others have lost it; but still Portuguese words crop up 
all over the land, and there are Portuguese customs and manners and 
European features ; but still they are generally the same colour as the 
people of the country in which they live. With respect to Europeans 
not living in India, that is nothing when we remember what a vile 
climate it is. We live in it as an exceptional race ; and if we could 
bring instances of the third generation, you would say there was 
mixed blood in them. Then again, Dr. Hunt wanted me to explain 
how I could use such a word as " provident". Why, is it not perfectly 
clear that if people live in a country where there is a severe winter, 
in which little or no food is to be had, that they must provide against 
the scarcity, and that gradually the race would become a provident 
race } Therefore, I think I am justified in saying that, given two 
races of the same capacity, and put one in a tropical and the other 
in a temperate climate, the one in the temperate climate will become 
the more provident race of the two. With respect to Britons ever 
having been savages, I cannot assert that ; but I think it would puzzle 
Dr. Hunt to show that they were civilised. All the evidence we have 
proves that they were savages, as much so as the South Sea islanders. 

The Peesident : Chariots ? 

Mr. Wallace : The South Sea islanders had no horses. Well, 
then, as to the term " inherent," I do not mean to withdraw it. I 
mean to maintain it as a very proper expression ; and the answer I 
gave to that last question about a provident race, will almost answer 
for this, — that peculiarities produced gradually by natural selection, 
or any other cause, become inherent. The very fact of the race being 
gradually brought into harmony with the climate of the country in 
which it is, gives it a superior power, and an inherent capacity to 
maintain it. I do not know whether the words are the same, but the 
sense is exactly the same as will be found in Darwin's own book, 
where he points out this extraordinary fact, the bearing of which 
had never been noticed before, that in Australia, in the Cape of Good 
Hope, and to a considerable degree in North America — in fact, to a 
great extent in all the comparatively limited areas to which Euro- 
peans go — the weeds of Europe that are carried accidentally thrive 
and flourish there. They spread over the country, and maintain 
themselves in competition with the native weeds, showing that they 
are better adapted for the country than the plants which were appa- 
rently specially created for the country. Mr. Darwin explains it on 
his theory in this manner, — that Europe and Asia, which now to a 
great extent dry land, have been long in existence as dry land ; and 
that in the immense series of ages during which the changes of the 
northern continent have been going on, becoming modified from one 
form to another, sometimes to an inland climate, sometimes to a conti- 
nental climate, sometimes a mountainous region, sometimes a flat re- 
gion ; owing to that great amount of change, its plants have acquired 
an immense variety of specialities : because, when a speciality is once 
acquired, it is not lost. It is handed down and kept in store, as it were, 
so that the immense mutations which the northern hemisphere has un- 



WALLACE ON THE ORIGIN OF HUMAN llACES. clxXXvii 

dergone, have given these plants a capacity of adapting themselves 
to a great variety of conditions. The result is, that directly they 
are carried into Australia these properties come into play. They have 
been adapted, in some previous state of the northern hemisphere, to 
similar conditions, and they have inherited this peculiarity by trans- 
mission, and therefore they are capable of driving out the plants of 
Australia merely by the inherent vigour they have gained. 1 applied 
this in illustration of the way in which civilised man has been de- 
veloped by a great variety of circumstances. The intermixture of 
races has been very great. We are a mixed race to a very great ex- 
tent, and therefore we have the capacities and powers of a great many ; 
therefore, when we come into contact with the lower races, we are 
enabled in the same manner to drive them out. Then, it is said, that 
man without speech is not man. That is one of my points. I said, if 
you choose to consider he is not man, then so and so follows ; but if 
you consider he is man, then so and so. And as to the argument, 
that if man could take the effects of natural selection away, it must 
be powerless, — that has not much to do with the subject. We might 
as well say, how powerless life is, because we can take it away, — 
when such a slight thing as stopping the mouth with pitch-plaster 
can destroy it. This only shows how easily it can be changed or de- 
stroyed ; it does not prove its weakness. And so it does not show 
the weakness of natural selection, because man is able to modify it by 
putting himself into certain conditions, instead of leaving nature to 
select those conditions for him. I think I have now answered all the 
objections; and it is now so late that I really cannot detain you any 
longer. With regard to the poetical conclusion, I would merely say 
that I began it by stating that I would point out what I considered to 
be the bearings of this theory, if it is true. If it is not true, of 
course my remarks go for nothing ; but I do not think myself that 
the concluding part of the paper is more poetical than true. 
The meeting then adjourned. 



Mabch 15xh, 1864. 

Dr. James Hunt, President, in the Cuair. 

The minutes of the previous meeting were read and confirmed. 

The names of the following new Fellows were announced : — The 
Right Hon. the Earl of Clarendon; Charles Buxton, Esq., M.P. ; the 
Hon. Capt. Best; J. Jermyn Cowell, Esq.; John Cock, jun., Esq., 
F.R.H.S. and M.S. A.; J. F. W. Cozens, Esq.; Dr. J. F. Caplin; 
E. Bartlctt, Esq. ; R. E. Arden, Esq., F.G.S. ; Edward Brown, Esq. ; 
J. Payne Collier, Esq. ; W. Folhergill Cooke, Esq. ; George Bertram, 
Esq. ; John Cassell, Esq. ; E. O. Brown, Esq. ; W. T. Cox, Esq. ; 
Henry C. Bingham, Esq. ; J. S. Brickwood, Esq. ; W. Armitage, Esq. ; 
Edward W. Brabrook, Esq., F.S.A. ; T. A. Augustus Land, Esq.; 
Hon. J. L. Sullivan, of New York ; Mark Stirrup, Esq. ; Rev. M. A. 
Moon.